Tom Brady’s Last Touchdown Ball and a Lesson on the Fluctuating Values of Sports Memorabilia

Updated: Jun 15



Sports memorabilia is an appealing investment for sports fans, partly because some items are likely to appreciate over time. Unfortunately, these investments can also have the opposite effect too, as the case recently with the ball used for NFL star Tom Brady’s final touchdown pass. The good news is that sports memorabilia purchasing platforms like Sportafi allow sports fans the benefit of tracking any event that occurs with a sports memorabilia item, including the time and place where the item was made available, the event that makes the item significant, and any previous or future transactions or trades involving the item.


In the case of the football used for Tom Brady’s last touchdown pass, an unnamed bidder purchased the ball for $518k, according to auction site Lelands. Not even 24 hours later, Brady announced his groundbreaking decision to unretire, turning that “last touchdown pass football” into an ordinary touchdown ball. It was considered one of the most hilarious, precipitous drops in the value of a piece of sporting memorabilia of all time. Fortunately, the buyer was able to have his purchase voided, but this is a perfect illustration of how quickly the value of sports memorabilia items can change. It is also an example of why an immutable record of the item’s history is necessary. Continue reading below for more details about how Sportafi combats the problems that arise when sports memorabilia values fluctuate.



Why Having an Immutable History Record of an Item Benefits Sports Memorabilia Collectors


There are numerous reasons for having a resource capable of tracing the history of sports memorabilia. For starters, having a record that cannot be manipulated gives consumers peace of mind, knowing their items are legitimate. Additionally, an immutable record of an item’s transaction history makes it easier for sellers to seek a fair market price. When sports memorabilia sellers use Sportafi to exchange their items for cash, buyers are able to see for themselves why a specific item costs a certain amount while also confirming the genisis record, proving the authenticity of the item too.



How Sportafi Simplifies the Process of Tracking the Value of Sports Memorabilia


Purchasing sports memorabilia is exciting because of what the purchase represents, especially as time passes by and the item appreciates in value. One common challenge facing sports memorabilia collectors is the inability to properly assess values and fluctuations over time.


Luckily for collectors, Sportafi makes the process of tracking the value of any registered item easier than ever. Here’s how:


  • Step 1: A sports memorabilia collector takes an item to a Sportafi kiosk at the stadium of an event and registers the item.

  • Step 2: A new digital asset is created on the Sportafi platform, immutably recording the GPS location, time, and date of the event.


  • Step 3: The biometrics of the sports memorabilia owner, league officials, and the player are then added to the record.

  • Step 4: A unique identifier on the physical item is paired with the digital asset which creates an immutable digital asset. In the case of Tom Brady’s final touchdown football, a unique, tamper-proof RFID is added to the record.

  • Step 5: The digital asset is registered on the blockchain under the Sportafi platform but also stored as a digital token in the owner’s smart wallet, providing irrefutable trust to the owner and potential buyers.

  • Step 6: In the event of a sale, a portion of the profit goes to the league, players, and the item manufacturer.


This process is essential in helping owners keep track of the value of their memorabilia. With Sportafi, buyers no longer have to rely on trusting a seller or a potentially fraudulent certificate of authenticity. In short, Sportafi makes verification simple, secure, and transparent.



How Likely Are the Values of Sports Memorabilia to Change Once They’re Bought?


Much of the popularity of obtaining sports memorabilia and collectibles is rooted in the likelihood that certain items will increase in value over time. According to a report conducted by the Raab collection, autographs have demonstrated growth of more than 9% per year over the course of the past 50 years. There is no surprise that the market is seeing an increasing number of people eager to get in on the action.


In recent years, the sports memorabilia market has been particularly active, which is great news for collectors. According to the Epstein white paper, as of the end of 2018, the current market was poised to outperform the S&P 500 by 232 percent. With this recent increase in market activity, collectors benefit immensely from platforms that make verifying and exchanging items easier, like what Sportafi provides.




An Example of How Sportafi Allows Sports Memorabilia Collectors to Seamlessly Exchange and Track the Value of Their Items


Let’s say, for example, a collector is seeking to purchase an item from another aficionado. The seller has a game-used football from his favorite NFL wide receiver following a huge game-winning touchdown because the player threw it into the stands after the game. By using Sportafi, the buyer can easily see the game the ball was used in because the ball was added onto the marketplace using a unique identifier like an RFID, along with the biometrics of the seller and the GPS location, time, and date of registration. This digital asset is now registered on the blockchain and cannot be manipulated.


Since the majority of the events and data regarding the item are stored in the seller’s digital wallet, the transaction and process of transferring the item once purchased, is very simple. Once funds are received by the seller, the digital token is transferred to the buyer and the physical item is then shipped with a tracking number to the buyer. The Sportafi platform then uses a Smart Contract to pay out the appropriate fees to the digital wallets of other stakeholders involved in the specific item, like players, leagues, and manufacturers. Once the item has been received, the new owner will need to register their biometrics at a Sportafi kiosk. This will allow the new owner the ability to use Sportafi to monitor the value of the item over time and also sell that item (and others) for profits at a later date. This process provides each member involved in the transaction unseen levels of transparency and truth.



Begin Tracking the Values of Items in Your Sports Memorabilia Collection With Sportafi Today!


As the market continues to grow and the values of sports memorabilia items are prone to fluctuation, having a mechanism in place for tracking important events related to these items is essential. Not only is Sportafi capable of verifying the authenticity of items, it is also capable of using those insights to help collectors and sports fans monitor the value of specific items that they may currently possess or would like to purchases and posses in the future.


The benefits Sportafi provides to sports collectors has a seismic impact on the processes designs for true transparency for buying and selling items. The way it leverages hardware and software to collect data and details that matter most to collectors, makes it unlike any other service or transaction available on the market. The most pertinent questions that collectors have is whether an item is authentic and whether the item is worth the price. Sportafi provides clarity over concerns regarding the authenticity and value of sports memorabilia, along with transparency regarding the origins of an item. For more insights on how the Sportafi platform could improve the process of buying and selling sports memorabilia, contact our team today!


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